Fill Your Own Teabags
I just recently purchased some from Teavana from a friend and I don’t know if I like them much. I ended up getting the ‘large’ size and they really are huge! The thing I don’t enjoy is that they don’t have a way to close the top (as far as I can tell). It really didn’t solve the issues I was having with travelling with tea…
I got those yesterday for cold steeping a lot of tea at a time. They don’t stay folded very well but I found that after it got wet, it stayed shut. I’m also gonna use them to travel so I think I’m going to use like those thin plastic clips for holding paper to keep them shut. Not ideal, but better than nothing/having to take more things than necessary with me!
I imported some empty teabags from Japan over eBay recently that are made from a very fine polyester. A cute little diagram on the back gave me instructions on how to seal them. Put the tea into the bag and then you fold the top over and tuck it in, imagine a pillow case where one end has a flap inside that seals that end to keep the pillow inside. Very similar to that and they work wonders, but if you do get this type make sure not to poke it too much otherwise it can unfold itself.
The bags seem massive but the tea expands whilst in the water anyway so sizing is perfect. :)
Now that’s the kind of fillable teabags I need. I can always taste the paper somehow of teabags and all the fill-your-own teabags I’ve seen. I generally prefer sachets because they are usually made out of a fine nylon. I know it’s not super environmentally friendly because they don’t decompose like a paper-based teabag, but it’s just one of those things for me.
yeah I have these too, except mine are from Korea but I love the tucking the tea in and folding it closed like a pillow, it’s easier for me.. but I worry about the environment.. I might try the muslin bags because I have hundreds of them stashed away doing nothing in a box.
I buy the paper filters from Adagio Teas. I find their’s are the best. A box of 100 is $3.
I’ve found when I put even high-quality tea in filterbags, it comes out flat and relatively deadened…
the leaves are constrained so they just don’t have the chance to infuse enough.
Likewise, when I come across a decent manufactured Tea Bag, like Mighty Leaf or Tazo Awake, I find it tastes much better if I cut open the tea bag and brew it properly.
For on the go tea, i would just carry a mini french press…
t-sacs can be heat sealed with a household iron. I use at least a No2 size, and prefer even larger sizes – lots of room to expand, and much easier to fill. Also easier to use in that the long neck can hang out of the pot/cup so no fishing for the bag when done steeping,
Even though they can be heat sealed, I rarely do that. I just roll them up after they are filled and tuck them in a tea wallet (lousy with tea wallets around here, lol – I own Thistledown Cozies). This is the design, with the filled t-sacs just tucked in the “sleeves”:
Maybe not what you’re asking, but I hate to spend money if I can somehow come up with a way around a problem free of cost. If I’m travelling and my tea isn’t already pre-bagged, I’ll probably bring tea that doesn’t need to be in a bag in the first place. For example, whole large leafed teas can be brewed and drunk out of the same vessel. I think oolongs are great for that. they are not overly sensitive to the time they spend in hot water. Just keep refilling your mug and you can use the same leaves all day long. yay! Plus, most of the leave sink once they are saturated with water. Some still float, but that’s ok. Drink around them or just eat them. :)
Or, travel with a gaiwan, if convenient. The lids were used to brush floating leaves out of the way while sipping straight out of the bowl. I used to watch a lot of Chinese period dramas, so I know what I’m talking about. :D
I agree that constraining tea is not an optimal way of brewing tea but when I make ice tea, it’s the method I usually use. You can buy small to extremely large fine polyester bags at a Japanese market or as the user above suggested, from eBay. The small bags are made for tea, the large bags are made for spices, herbs, etc, to be used in sauces, soups, miso soup, etc. So, since tea leaves can expand to 3, 4, 5 times or more when they are exposed to water, I buy the largest bags they have. The large bags are also made from a fine polyester.
Thanks everyone for such great info. I have a lot to try now! I’ve never used a gaiwan, but they do make sense. Good think you’re up on all those Chinese period dramas!